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mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
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» 11/30/2009
ISLAM – SWITZERLAND
Swiss ban on minarets condemned in the Muslim world, but many voices call for moderation
Vote result is seen as an expression of Islamophobia. The grand mufti of Egypt calls it an “insult” to Muslims around the world. More voices warn against violent reactions, noting that the Swiss government as well as Christian and Jewish groups are opposed to the ban.

Beirut (AsiaNews) – The Muslim world slammed the vote in Switzerland in favour a ban on minarets on Swiss soil (pictured: protest demonstration). For Muslims, the result is case of Islamophobia. However, some voiced urge moderation, especially since the Swiss government, the country’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference and groups like Amnesty International have come out against the ban.

“The most painful for us is not the minaret ban, but the symbol sent by this vote. Muslims do not feel accepted as a religious community," said Farhad Afshar, who heads the Coordination of Islamic Organisations in Switzerland.

Elsewhere in the Muslim world, reactions are even stronger. For the grand mufti of Egypt, the result is an “insult” to Muslims around the world. “This proposal [. . .] is not considered just an attack on freedom of beliefs, but also an attempt to insult the feelings of the Muslim community in and outside Switzerland,” Gomaa said.

Still, many have called for calm. Maskuri Abdillah, the head of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim group, spoke about “hatred” and “intolerance”. The vote for him is a sign of the “hatred of Swiss people against Muslim communities. They don't want to see a Muslim presence in their country and this intense dislike has made them intolerant." Still, he urged Muslims in his country “to show them tolerance and freedom of religion”.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, said he was confident that “the people of Switzerland will reach the best consensus and will take the best decision,” and overturn the ban.

At the level of media, we find a variety of responses. Al Jazeera spoke of a “shocking result”. Quoting an analyst, the satellite TV said, “It was because people are worried about the growth of Islam in Europe.”

For the Tehran Times, it is a case of rising “Islamophobia in Europe and violation of religious freedom and convention commitments.

An Iranian TV channel said that everyone condemned the Swiss Islamophobic vote, noting that the Swiss government slammed the ban.

Similarly, Lebanon’s Nahar newspaper as well as Hizbollah’s al Manar TV channel noted that Christians also expressed dismay over the outcome, stressing that it was "inadmissible that the religious minority” is now “to subject to unequal treatment.” The Kuwait Times agrees.

Nahar also reported that religious groups, including Christians, Jews and Muslims, have come out in a rare show of unity against the right-wing proposal. (PD)


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See also
12/03/2009 TURKEY – ISLAM
Switzerland may have acted badly, but is the Church truly free in Turkey, Turkish journalist asks
by Geries Othman
11/27/2009 ISLAM - EUROPE
Fr. Samir: In Switzerland, yes minarets, no to the muezzin
by Samir Khalil Samir
04/21/2009 TIBET – UNITED NATIONS
Durban II: pro-Tibet groups discriminated
by Nirmala Carvalho
12/04/2009 ISLAM - EUROPE
Fr. Samir: The refusal of the minarets, an opportunity to rethink Islam and Europe
by Samir Khalil Samir
06/14/2012 MYANMAR - SWITZERLAND
ILO in Switzerland, Aung San Suu Kyi’s European tour

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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